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The Boys from Brazil (1978)

A Nazi hunter in Paraguay discovers a sinister and bizarre plot to rekindle the Third Reich.

Writers:

Ira Levin (novel), Heywood Gould (screenplay)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Based on the Ira Levin novel, the original film fit the mode of 1970s paranoid thrillers, with Laurence Olivier uncovering a diabolical plot by Nazis in South America to revive the Third ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Peck ... Dr. Josef Mengele
Laurence Olivier ... Ezra Lieberman
James Mason ... Eduard Seibert
Lilli Palmer ... Esther Lieberman
Uta Hagen ... Frieda Maloney
Steve Guttenberg ... Barry Kohler (as Steven Guttenberg)
Denholm Elliott ... Sidney Beynon
Rosemary Harris ... Mrs. Doring
John Dehner ... Henry Wheelock
John Rubinstein ... David Bennett
Anne Meara ... Mrs. Curry
Jeremy Black ... Jack Curry / Simon Harrington / Erich Doring / Bobby Wheelock
Bruno Ganz ... Professor Bruckner
Walter Gotell ... Mundt
David Hurst ... Strasser
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Storyline

Barry Kohler, a young Nazi hunter, tracks down a group of former SS officers meeting in Paraguay in the late 1970s. The Nazis, led by Dr Mengele, are planning something. Old Nazi hunter, Ezra Lieberman, is at first uninterested in Kohler's findings. But when he is told something of their plan, he is eager to find out more. Lieberman visits several homes in Europe and the U.S. in order to uncover the Nazi plot. It is at one of these houses he notices something strange, which turns out to be a horrible discovery. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If they survive...will we?

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 October 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los niños del Brasil See more »

Filming Locations:

Kölnbrein Dam, Austria See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$19,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Ezra Liebermann" was called "Yakov Liebermann" in the original book. Laurence Olivier patterned his performance on Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. See more »

Goofs

When the geneticist is talking to Lieberman, he tells him that twins raised separately have exactly opposite personalities when, in fact, they have been shown to have quite similar personalities. See more »

Quotes

Eduard Seibert: [after discovery of Mengele's plan by Lieberman] The operation has been terminated.
Dr. Josef Mengele: Terminated... by whose authority?
Eduard Seibert: General Rausch... and the Colonel's.
Dr. Josef Mengele: [enraged] I told you... I told you from the beginning! Kill him! Kill him! It would have been so easy!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The 20th Century Fox logo is in black and white. See more »

Alternate Versions

West German theatrical release as well as all subsequent German TV broadcasts and video/DVD editions were cut by 20 minutes for content. Only in 2007 the complete version was released on DVD. See more »

Connections

Referenced in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Split Decisions (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Blue Danube
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Arranged by Arthur Morton
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Engaging mystery with impressive performances
5 April 2000 | by CLPyleSee all my reviews

Young Nazi-hunter Barry Kohler (Steve Guttenberg) is tracking war criminals in Paraguay when he discovers that the old Nazis seem to be plotting something big. Kohler's fears are confirmed when the Nazis' guest of honor arrives: the infamous concentration camp scientist Josef Mengele (Gregory Peck). Mengele order his followers to carry out the murders of over 90 men, all of whom are 65-year-old civil servants, none of whom are Jews.

Kohler phones his idol, Ezra Lieberman (Laurence Olivier), with a report of what he's uncovered. Lieberman has fallen on hard times and lives in a leaky apartment where he cannot pay the rent. He's spent his life following every lead about Nazi war criminals and is tired of the chase. However, when Kohler's call (and his life) are abruptly cut short, Lieberman knows he must act.

He begins to investigate the bizarre plot. Why should Mengele want to kill these men who seem entirely unconnected to each other or the war? Why 65-year-olds? Why civil servants? Sadly many of the blurbs about this movie give away the solution to this mystery and the meaning of the title, but the mystery is much more engaging if the viewer unravels it along with Lieberman.

Olivier is fantastic in his role! He always put as much effort into his roles in genre films like this one, "Marathon Man," and "Dracula" as he devoted to Shakespeare, and it shows. He is thoroughly convincing as an elderly German Jew. Gregory Peck is also magnificent; he radiates pure evil. The top-notch supporting cast includes James Mason and Denholm Elliott. (So what's Steve Guttenberg doing in this movie?)


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